The Topanga Historical Society was organized in 1974 by a group of dedicated community leaders who recognized the urgent need to collect, preserve, and make available to future generations records of Topanga's unique history. The Society maintains a gallery and archive center, presents quarterly local history programs, and makes available two publications. One of these is The Topanga Story, a comprehensive history of Topanga, edited by Louise York. The other is Southern Calfiornia's Prettiest Drive, a facsimile of a 1925 Topanga promotional booklet.

Mission Statement: The Topanga Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that serves all who are interested in local history. At our gallery and archive center, located in Topanga Canyon, we preserve and exhibit Topanga History. We also work cooperatively with surrounding historical societies to stimulate an interest in our area's unique history.

Gallery and Archive Center

Pine Tree Circle Center
120 South Topanga Canyon Blvd., Unit 206
Open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other days by appointment

The archive library contains a rich collection of local history materials. These include:
  • Back issues of three Topanga newspapers: Topanga Journal (1943-1966), Topanga Lookout (1964-1966), and the Messenger (1977 to present).
  • a large photograph and document collection
  • community organization records
  • literary works related to Topanga
  • video and audio tapes
Among the archives' files researchers will find information on special-interest topics sych as Elysium Fields, the Mermaid Tavern, the Theatricum Botanicum, the Topanga Corral, Topanga's art community, and its colorful "Beatnick" and "Hippie" eras.

Exhibited in the gallery is a permanent collection of historic photographs. Throughout the year rotating exhibits from the archives are mounted that interpret specific historic periods or events.

For Information: (310) 455-1969
Mail inquiries and applications to P.O. Box 1214, Topanga, CA 90290